CHAPTER 9 || Language Acquisition Flashcards Preview

ENG 211-O1 INTRO TO LINGUISTICS > CHAPTER 9 || Language Acquisition > Flashcards

Flashcards in CHAPTER 9 || Language Acquisition Deck (23):
1

BABBLING

An early stage of language acquisition that infants go through from about 4 to 6 months of age.

Babbling may involve a wide range of speech sounds, though it typically consists of simple syllables (ex. ba and ma).

Over time, the range of sounds tends towards the range in the language being acquired.

Deaf children also babble with hand gestures.

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BASIC MASTERY

By 4 or 5 years of age, most children have acquired a basic mastery of their language.

Their vocabulary will stand at well over 1,000 items and the basic systems of phonology, morphology, and syntax will be in place. 

3

CARETAKER SPEECH

A special form of speech used by adults (especially mothers) and older children when talking to infants.

It is characterized by exaggerated articulation and intonation.

Also referred to as baby talk, motherese, and child directed speech.

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CONDITIONED-RESPONSE LEARNING

A theory of learning associated with the psychological theory of behaviorism, which was applied to language acquisition by B.F. Skinner (1957).

According to behaviorism, language develops from adult reinforcement and shaping of the babbling of the infant, and subsequently like other learned behavior.

Two types of conditioned-response learning are involved: classical conditioning and operant conditioning.

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CONTINUED ACQUISITION

Language that continues to be acquired throughout life.

This is especially true of lexical items, which continue to be acquired in adulthood, although at a much slower rate than for the 2 year-old child.

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COOING

A very early stage in language acquisition in which the infant produces cooing-sounds, typically made up of syllables of velar consonants and back vowels.

7

CRITICAL PERIOD HYPOTHESIS

The idea that there is a biologically determined window of time, between infancy and puberty, for the acquisition of a first language.

Outside of this period it is believed that it is impossible to achieve native fluency in a language.

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HYPOTHESIS TESTING

In adopting this strategy, the child is presumed to be behaving like a scientist, making guesses about how the language works, and testing these guesses against the evidence from speech, and the reactions of interlocuters.

According to this theory, the child acquires a language through their attempts at analysing it grammatically.

9

IMITATION

A strategy for language acquisition.

Imitation is a common means by which children (and adults) learn many things, including aspects of language.

Children actively imitate the speech of those in their social environments, sometimes at inappropriate times, to the embarassment of their parents.

Children also imitate new lexical items and sentence patterns that they are unable to to produce spontaneously, and later stop imitating when they are able to produce them.

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INNATENESS

The idea that children are biologically predisposed to learn language, that they are born with knowledge of an abstract universal grammar that underlies the grammar of all human languages.

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L1

A person's first language, or mother tongue.

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L2

A language acquired by a person after their L1 (mother tongue).

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MISMATCH IN MEANING

Rarely, children assign a completely mistaken meaning to a word.

Mismatches are often syntagmatically motivated: they involve assignment of some meaning present in the context in which the word was heard to the wrong item. Thus, one child saw his first bicycle at a party for a child named Mikey and for some time afterwards called all bicycles and tricycles mikeys.

14

OBJECT SCOPE

A strategy for learning the meaning of words.

It assumes that words denoting objects denote whole objects, not portions of speech.

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ONE-WORD HOLOPHRASTIC STAGE

At around 12 to 18 months, children produce their first recognizable words.

These words occur alone, in single-unit utterances.

A one-word utterance can be given different intonation contours to express different speech acts. For example, falling intonation for a statement, rising for a question of request.

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OVEREXTENSION OF MEANING

Where a child acquiring a language generalizes the meaning of a word beyond the sense it has in adult language.

For example, using doggy to refer to all four-legged hairy animals.

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OVERGENERALIZATION

Where a child acquiring a language uses a regularly constructed form instead of the irregular form of the adult language.

For example, using feets instead of feet as the plural for foot.

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SECOND-LANGUAGE LEARNING

The acquisition of one or more languages after the first language has been fully or almost completely acquired.

It is also called L2 acquisition.

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SYNTACTIC BOOTSTRAPPING

The use of syntactic knowledge by a language learner in order to determine the meaning of words.

For example, experiments have shown that knowing a word is a verb (from its syntactic context) informs the child that it denotes an event.

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TELEGRAPHIC SPEECH

The stage in first language acquisition following the two-word stage, that it consists primarily of lexical items.

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TRANSFER / INTERFERENCE

The carrying over of grammatical oatterns from a person's L1 to L2.

The "foreign accent" of most second language learners results from transfer of the phonetic and phonemic systems of the first language.

Transfer can also occur in the opposite direction (from L2 to L1).

22

TWO-WORD STAGE

A stage in the acquisition of a first language, usually beginning around 18 months, in which words are put together to form two-word utterances.

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UNDEREXTENSION OF MEANING

Where the child assigns a narrower meaning to a word than it has in the adult language.

For example, if doggy applies just to a pet dog.